Maricopa deputy steals defender's paperwork during a court case

Tom sends us video of a Maricopa County Sheriff's Deputy named Adam Stoddard stealing a public defender's paperwork, during a court proceeding, in front of the court's security camera. Tom adds, "The local news clip is really worth seeing, if only for the reporter's incredulous lead-in: 'The Maricopa County Sheriff's office backing one of its deputies after he takes away a lawyer's paperwork in court.' If you live in Arizona you're subject to the daily outrage from Sheriff Joe Arpaio. It's a bit like Philadelphia during the Rizzo years."

The deputy claims he wasn't stealing the paper, he was searching it for contraband. H's been found in contempt of court, and the judge has ordered him to apologize:

Those conditions are:

1) On or before November 30th, 2009, at a time convenient for Ms. Cuccia, a news conference to take place in the plaza on the north side of the central court building where he is to give Ms. Cuccia a sincere verbal and written apology for invading her defense file and for the damage that his conduct may have caused to her professional reputation.

2) If at the news conference, Ms. Cuccia does not state that the apology is sufficient, Stoddard will report to the jail on December 1, 2009 and be detained until further order upon a finding that he has complied with the purge clause.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio responded to the ruling early Wednesday, saying Superior Court judges do not order his staff to hold press conferences.

MCSO officer who took lawyer's paperwork might go to jail

(Thanks, Tom!)

Dan Gillmor points out that the Heat City blog has done great work on this, breaking the story.